Becoming a certified automotive technician is a critical part of having a career as a mechanic. Automotive certifications can give mechanics the skills necessary to perform many professional tasks, from standard comprehensive safety inspections to specific diagnostics and repairs. An automotive certification also gives mechanics credibility and a strong reputation, which can help them get their dream technician jobs, and earn the respect and trust of their clients.
Since being an automotive technician requires a lot of hands-on work, automotive certifications cannot be granted online. In order to receive a certification, a mechanic must not only prove that they have strong automotive knowledge, but must also register a certain number of hours of repair time and hands-on experience.
Despite this, there are still plenty of online resources for people who are seeking automotive certifications. After completing these programs, aspiring technicians will still need hands-on training before they are eligible for their automotive certifications, but an online education is a great first step, and can provide most of the technical knowledge required to be a great mechanic. When it comes to online programs, there’s a little something for everything, whether you want some basic information, guides, and study material, or a diploma in automotive technology. Here are the ten best options for people seeking an online automotive certification program.
10. Northampton Community College
Northampton Community College offers a unique program, called the Automotive Technology Degree for ASE Certified Technicians. Unlike the other programs on this list, the Northampton online program is designed for people who are already ASE-certified mechanics. The program, which is an Associates in Applied Science, is aimed at providing automotive technology knowledge to certified technicians, so that they can either build on their career, or move towards a new aspect of automotive technology.
9. Autoshop 101
Autoshop 101 is a very basic program designed for beginners who are looking to get started with the electrical aspect of automotive technology. Autoshop 101 does not provide a degree, but instead offers lots of free online tutorials, reading materials, and ASE certification practice tests. For aspiring technicians who want to start learning about automotive electronics at their own pace, this is a great place to start.
8. Ferris State University
Ferris State offers one of the more unique online automotive programs that is available: a Bachelor of Science Degree in Automotive Management. This degree offers mechanics a comprehensive automotive education, and graduates are prepared to enter the workforce as a technician, a technical writer, an automotive manager, or an instructor. For people who know they want an automotive career, but aren’t sure what exact job they’d like, or for mechanics who simply want a broad understanding of the automotive marketplace, Ferris State offers the perfect program.
7. Automotive Engine Rebuilder’s Association
The Automotive Engine Rebuilder’s Association (AERA) offers the only program on this list that leads to a certification without any hands-on work. The AERA online program allows mechanics to learn at their own pace, as the material is a combination of written information and pre-recorded videos. When the course is completed, students will earn AERA certificates in Cylinder Heads and Engine Machinist. As ASE does not offer certifications in these categories, AERA is a unique and well-respected program that is perfect for mechanics who are interested in engine rebuilds.
6. Stratford Career Institute
The Stratford Career Institute is a vocational school that offers numerous online courses. Their courses feature textbooks, video lessons, and the ability to communicate one-on-one with instructors. Graduates of a Startford program receive a vocational diploma. Their primary automotive course is a standard Auto Mechanic program, though they also offer educations in Small Engine Repair, and Motorcycle/ATV Repair.
Bergwall is one of the country’s most popular online vocational schools, and they feature a wide array of automotive courses. Bergwall does their teaching through videos and reading materials, and they offer all of their courses through one basic subscription of $10/month, or $100/year. With a Bergwall subscription, aspiring mechanics get courses in four different areas: ASE Test Prep (which covers the standard A1-A8 ASE tests, as well as L1, P2, and C1), Shop Talk (which covers all of the standard automotive components), Shop Safety and Math, and OBD-II.
4. The Society of Automotive Engineers
The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) is one of the most comprehensive online automotive educators. SAE offers thorough educational materials that cover nearly every aspect of automotive technology, and they constantly update their information. Through videos, seminars, and reading material, SAE offers all the training and education necessary for aspiring mechanics. SAE is one of the most respected training programs in the automotive community, training over 4,000 technicians each year.
I-CAR (Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair) is a collision repair specialist, with a large array of online courses, ranging from introductory to expert. I-CAR’s online program features a wonderful virtual classroom system that greatly benefits students. I-CAR has some of the best instructors available, and has received positive reviews from nearly all of their students. If you are interested in repair certifications, I-CAR is a great option.
2. Ashworth College
Ashworth College is an online school that offers an Automotive Technician training program. This program covers all the basics of maintenance, repairs, and troubleshooting, and leaves students ready to enter the world of being a mechanic. In addition to an excellent education, Ashworth provides students with many resources, including communication with professors, online videos and textbooks, and detailed, step-by-step lab simulations. Students who complete the Automotive Technician training program receive a diploma.
1. Penn Foster Career School
The Penn Foster Career School offers the most comprehensive automotive training program available to aspiring mechanics. Penn Foster uses a variety of learning mechanisms, ranging from lectures and videos, to challenge games and real-world exercises. Penn Foster offers diplomas in four areas: Auto Repair Technician, Diesel Mechanics/Heavy Truck Maintenance, Motorcycle Repair Technician, and Small Engine Repair. They also offer certificates in Automotive HVAC Essentials, and Automotive Transmissions Essentials. A Penn Foster diploma can be achieved in as little as six months, and will leave mechanics ready to get their hands-on experience and their ASE certifications.
An online automotive education can give you all the knowledge you need to begin your technician career. One of these programs is the perfect starting block that will allow you to get your certifications, and your dream mechanic job. And once you’ve finished your education and received a certification, think about applying to work at YourMechanic.